Time On-Ice Studs: Finding Some Real MVP Seasons, 2007-08 to 2011-12

Ben Wendorf
January 07 2013 08:56AM



In previous posts, I have stressed the value of understanding NHLers' time on-ice as a percentage of available time (Time On-Ice%, or TOI%) rather than as a lump sum. I then found that TOI% at 5v5, 5v4, and 4v5 provide data points for a pretty nifty radar plot, what I've called a "Total Player Chart," and used those TPCs to depict player value.

Since then, I've also expanded Total Player Charts to include "Team Total Player Charts," or TTPCs, which demonstrate some other nifty stuff for looking at individual season depth charts for teams (such as the Vancouver Canucks in 2011-12), and looking at the evolution of player depth over time for teams (such as Vancouver from 2007-08 through 2011-12).*

I promised to come back and include some analysis of 5v4% and 4v5%, and for now there was one stone I felt was still left unturned: TOI% including all of 5v5, 5v4, and 4v5. By looking at individual TOI% performances over the last five seasons, and in particular those that are leading by this metric, you are undoubtedly looking at real MVPs, the players with the largest amount of their team's minutes.

An overwhelming majority of the time, they are also logging the most crucial minutes. Now, I've heard some whispers of apprehension about trusting that coaches will always put the best player out there. They won't always, but it won't be for lack of trying. Traditionalists who refute statheads by saying we should defer to someone who "watches" or "plays" the game (I've done both, probably more than them, but I digress) should have no problem with deferring to a coaching assessment. And if they don't, well who the hell are they, anyway? Stats folks have a right to be more skeptical, but are also beholden to the fact that coaches making the wrong decision will be a small part of the sample.

Suffice to say, it's no sure measure, but it's one of the best. 

*Incidentally, I draw attention to a critical distinction between the TTPCs in individual seasons versus multiple seasons as I present them. Explanation here.

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January 06 2013 05:04PM

What's that thing called when you break up with someone, both see other people and then decide you are going to get back together and have to pretend like the last 6 months never happened? Yeah. It's time for about 1000cc of that.

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Number Chains - January 6th Links

Josh L.
January 06 2013 04:43PM



This new, regular feature on NHLNumbers will share interesting stats-related posts from around the web almost every day.

Welcome to your first post lockout links. In this space you will be able to find the best analytical hockey writing from around the internet on a close-to-daily basis. Subject matter will include statistical evaluation, financial analysis, contractual issues, and (sometimes) closely-related tangential works. If you have something you would like to submit for a future edition (your writing or that of someone else) feel free to send it to me via Twitter @JoshL1220 or leave a comment.

I've been tired of writing about the lockout for quite a while now. So, let's sit down and discuss the lockout some more. This time at least we can finally say goodbye to the lockout once and for all. Details are beginning to come out about the new agreement. TSN (giving credit to Aaron Ward, Darren Dreger, and Pierre LeBrun) has the details as we currently know them:

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Agreement reached; Lockout on verge of end; Christmas saved

Cam Charron
January 06 2013 09:41AM

After 16 hours of bargaining and mediation Saturday and early into Sunday morning, the National Hockey League and its Players Association came through with a tentative labour agreement that will see the remainder of the 2012-2013 season played out under a pro-rated salary cap.

A groggy Gary Bettman, who was speaking about as quickly as either Sedin accelerates (they're slow, get it?), clarified that the deal must be ratified on both sides, and that there was no information available yet on schedule or number of games to be played.

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Do NHL goaltenders age in a recognizable pattern?

Cam Charron
January 05 2013 02:21PM

There has been some work done on goaltender age recently, and the basic question surrounding the analysis has been "can we predict how Roberto Luongo will perform in his late 30s?" If we can, and if the indication is positive, it would imply a team may be wise to fork over a key asset or two for one of the best, consistent goalies of the era.

Luongo plays a very important role in goaltender analysis. He's the first elite goaltender to rise to prominence after the NHL began publishing even strength save percentage numbers in 1997-98. Luongo has played 12 NHL seasons, all of them coming after the switch. The only other goalie to play more games than Luongo since 1998 is Martin Brodeur, but some of his numbers are buried behind the impenetrable wall of simple save percentage as he established himself in New Jersey.

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